I like to cook like a mad scientist! And I love to eat! Parts of cooking really work for me: picking out great ingredients then dashing madly around the kitchen, chopping, sprinkling, and tasting (and then of course devouring). Other things don't work for me: long complex directions that have to be read 100 times (and somehow still get messed up!) or recipes that worked once but never again (I'll get you one day you darn buttermilk dumplings).
My favorite things to cook
One pot meals, soups and stews and breads. I love hearty dishes and I love getting everything but one pot cleaned up before dinner. That way I can just luxuriate on the meal after eating it!
My favorite family cooking traditions
I come from a meat and potatoes background. I still enjoy this type of food and I find holiday meals an absolutely blissful experience. Growing up, roast beef and mashed potatoes was my most favorite dish. My Mom also managed to grow a wonderful garden which is probably directly responsible for my love of all things vegetable. I've carried on in a much smaller way and I'm currently working on my collection of herbs. I LOVE using fresh herbs in my dishes :D. One day, I will eat the edible flowers as I intended to.
My cooking triumphs
I celebrate the small things! I really feel like everything that turns out well is a triumph! That being said I contributed a basket of Foccacia bread for a family dinner that I was very proud of.
My cooking tragedies
I spent and entire day, and a friends' entire day, making a traditional apple strudel. It was A LOT of work and it looked amazing! But it wasn't delicious. I learned a lot though: just have fun and then if it's not tasty it's funny (thank you Bridget Jones), don't go too traditional if you don't know what it traditionally tastes like and most everything can be made better with the addition of ice cream.